African Americans represent 13% of the U.S. population but 46% of people living with HIV and nearly 40% of state and federal prisoners. Disproportionate rates of HIV among African American males involved in the criminal justice system have been associated with risk factors, including: contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), substance misuse, and inconsistent condom use. However, many African American males may not perceive an elevated risk of HIV upon re-entering the community.
The current study examines correlates of perceived HIV risk among incarcerated African American drug-using males about one year after release from prison.
Derived from a larger Health Services Utilization study, interviewing (N = 661) incarcerated men at baseline with a 92% follow-up rate approximately one year after community re-entry, the current study is a secondary data analyses from self-identified African American men (N = 250). After list-wise deletion, the total N = 221 for the final study results.
An ordered logistic regression model examining perceived risk of HIV as the dependent variable found age, cocaine use before sex, and condom use were significant correlates in the model. Alcohol use before sex mediated the relationship between cocaine use before sex and perceived HIV risk.
Results suggest men in this study are engaged in HIV risk behaviors and risk perception varies. Implications for individual-level, community-level and policy interventions are discussed.